Sunday, May 30, 2010
My blocks from the Sarah's Sampler Swap arrived yesterday. I made the schoolhouse blocks for this swap. Each block is so very precious! I will be trading one more one-on-one with a gal who couldn't meet the swap deadline, due to an unplanned move. I will probably set these blocks just like Sarah did in Jennifer's pattern book.
Funny how you have no size perspective in photos. These are 12" blocks, and my little klosjes that I posted yesterday are 2 3/4" blocks. Interesting.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
This morning I finished my Downy Quilt. In the end I decided to name it "Hugs" because I have huge writing, and it's a relatively small label, LOL! I used a simple grid quilting with a walking foot, and stitched the binding down with a swirly flower stitch that goes with the focal print. This has been a fun donation project.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Here's my stash of home-felted wool, so far. I have learned so much, especially from my on-line friends. There's a treasure trove of collective information about this at the Wooly Buddies yahoo group.
1. When thrifting for wool, pants and skirts will yield more wool than blazers, that contain so much tailoring.
2. You do need to soak it in the hottest of water so if you have a front loader, use a tub.
3. Stir it in the tub with either JetDry, or Tide without bleach. Both are known to be excellent at loosening the fibers. Others say any laundy detergent/soap works.
4. I found it helpful to wash it first, then do the soak thing, then wash again in the machine, and then dry on hot. Once dry, dry on hot a bit more.
5. This really isn't "wool felting" but everyone calls it that. It is "wool fulling" because the fabric was woven when I started. Wool felting is starting with wool from the sheep, and felting it. No weaving. Who knew?
6. This has been really interesting and fun! And I have a nice, soft, fluffy stash of wool to use for needle keeps, applique, etc. The possibilities are endless as to what you can do with it.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I made another nine klosjes this week, bringing my total to 19. I also stamped and cut some more, to keep my work basket full of supplies.
Today I met DJer, Alice from Central Florida, at a quilt shop for a sit and sew. We had such a good time, and found we have much in common, including daughters with the same name, Melissa, we have the same profession, elementary school teachers, we both took a class with Thimble Lady while she was here, etc., etc. Alice worked on her DJ and I worked on my klosjes.
The shop, The Apopka Quilt Co., had all FQs on sale for $1. Not just the picked over, left-overs, but ALL. The batiks, the blenders, the geometrics, etc. All. Well who could resist that? I also picked up a 'Ewe Old Bags' kit. It is knit, then felted, then appliqued. I'm into felting right now, so............
Here's my 2010 DJ Siggy Quilt flimsy. I'm making a simple throw from the blocks. I still have siggies from two prior years to make something with. Perhaps something fancier with more flair will strike with those.
Oh, and about the wool, I posted about it on Woolie Buddies yahoo group. Some great advice and expertise there! More on that later.
Now I'm off to meet a DJer from the big list, for a sit-and-sew at a LQS in Apopka. Who knew?
Friday, May 21, 2010
Felted wool is so very expensive, but so nice. I've heard you can felt your own, so I gave it a try. I pulled a pair of off-white wool pants from my donate bag and cut them apart. I washed the resulting fabric on high, and dried it on high. Not quite good enough. I have a front-loader, and I think it needs to soak. So I then soaked the wool fabric from the pants in a hot tub of water, and stirred with a wooden spoon. After the water cooled on it's own, I again ran it through my washer on hot and high, and high in the dryer. Voila! Really nice felted wool.
So then I pulled two wool blazers from my donation bag. Nice buttons to harvest there too! Then I went thrifting. What fun! I didn't care the size or condition of the garment. Just the color and quality of the wool. I found these four blazers. They are getting felted tomorrow, and I'll let you know the result. For very few dollars, I expect to have some nice wool felt. Now I'm on the look-out for some green wool thrift items, for stems and leaves.
Oooh, also found a really nice pair of silk ladies slacks. $6. Didn't buy them, but if they are still there I might. That's a lot of silk, and I have been collecting silk ties too. Oh, the possibilities. So many projects, so little time.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
When something new arrives in the mail, I just have to play! So it is with these siggies. Other projects are slid down temporarily. It's a really bad habit!
I trimmed up the siggies this morning, so they all have a more uniform look now. I've tried laying them out light to dark, trip around the world, and as they are, rainbow. Not sure what I'll so with them, but they'd make several great tote bags to take to retreat, shows, or class. They'd also make great pillowcases at retreats. Hmmm.............I'll probably make a throw, but ideas are dancing all over the place in my head!
Look what the mail lady brought yesterday! It's the siggies from the Spring 2010 swap with Dear Jane. These are all the same block, signed with name, date, and location of the creators. I put them up on the design wall for a better look, but they haven't been trimmed yet. We each trim our own, so it is normal that they look a bit rough around the edges and different sized too. I added two from the International Siggy swap to even it out. I love all of them, from the plain Jane's to the fancy stamps, and everything in between.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
You have to love a calico cat, especially when she's on the center of a siggy. This is Miss Abbie, and she was sent by Carolyn from Iowa. Her bow is tied on and dimensional. Nice!
This heart block is going out to my on-line friend, Karen, whose mom died recently.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Here's my klosje progress for the week -- nine little 2 3/4" spool blocks.
Elni, from Holland, was so kind as to leave a comment on my first klosje post explaining why we have 'Klosje Day' (klosjedag) on Saturday. It is not because we make them that day, it's because Saturday is the day that you post about your klosje progress on your blog. I'm so glad to know!
Elni, I tried to email you a thank-you for this information, but when I tried to reply to your comment it was a no-reply email setting. It is something in your settings. But thank you here, and good to have a friend from SBS drop by.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Yesterday I made three needle cases, or huswifs, as they were traditionally called. The pattern is from Remembering Adelia, a CW diary and pattern book by Kathleen Tracy.
Below you can see how they look opened out. There are three small pockets for needle packages, thimbles, etc., as well as a felt flap to hold needles and pins. It trifolds and ties with a ribbon to close. Nice!
I am really happy with how they turned out! And they were quick and easy to make. A day well spent.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This lovely siggie arrived from Isabelle, from France. Love her dog and the Eiffel Tower fabric! She just joined the International Siggie Swap.
After staring at furniture, dreaming of bookcases, etc., I am now up to plan G, or is it X or Y? I tried to get a picture of my current idea with the sashing fabric spread underneath, but I couldn't get it the way it is in my head, so you'll have to wait to see. More progress later today or tomorrow, inshallah, (hopefully, or God willing and the creek don't rise, etc).
Monday, May 10, 2010
My DJ Secret Sister was very good to me this month. She sent two bright FQs. I had to open them out so you could see all the colors. She also sent a spool of silk thread for applique, a tiny ruler (which will come in very handy making tiny blocks), and again, she made me another DJ block in beautiful green and white. This was all accompanied by a lovely letter. I am so curious who she is. Dec. reveal is a long ways off!
Update on my bookcase:
Thanks to so many of you for taking the time to help me. I replied to all I could. Some of you have your settings set so that I get a no-reply email when I try to answer your questions and thank you. It has to do with your account settings.
I posted my quandary here and on three Yahoo groups, the Friendship Swap, where the blocks originated, Stashbusters, where gals always help each other out, and Work In Producers, where there are some of the most talented quilters I know.
The majority suggestion is to border it attic window style. I've decided to try that, even though it meant I HAD to buy more fabric at my LQS. All your fault, LOL! But the other suggestions, including end it here, wood grain borders, tonal borders, and wall paper looking fabric borders, and others, were so intriguing. I think I'll have to make more of these quilts to try all the possible borders out!
My son, an attorney, and his wife, whom he met at law school, and their two little boys, are avid readers, and my head is spinning with ideas for books photos, etc., on their bookcase shelves. Maybe for Christmas. If I do that, I'll try another border technique on it.
Again, thanks so much for the help. Hope everyone finds some time to stitch today.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Here is my progress so far. And here is where I'm stumped. Should I stop here? Should I add a wood grain border all around? Should I attic window the whole thing, using my darker wood grain on the left and top, and the lighter on the right and bottom? None of the above? What should I do instead?
I truly value your opinions and do hope you'll help.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
A year and a half is a long time for blocks to languish in a bag. Especially if they are as special as these. Someone in my swap group, emailed and asked if any of the nine of us had our quilt together. No, not one of us. And this swap ended fall 2008.
Well, never one to work on one project straight through, I abandoned all else that was going, and put the blocks on the design wall. Yesterday, I made an additional block, a children's shelf. Today I sashed the shelves Attic Window style. Then I decided to fussy cut a few do-dads to sit on the shelves and lean on the books behind. Then I embroidered some fallen petals from the vase of flowers. Then, then, well, lots of puttering on this today, and this is my progress so far. Much better than a BOB (bag of blocks), if I do say so myself.
Friday, May 7, 2010
Thanks for all the help! I've now got my choices down to three fabrics. There's enough of the blue stripe for the first narrow border or the binding. The other two I have more than enough of. I'm thinking narrow blue stripe border then wider of the print and the use the black tonal for binding, or I could use solid black for binging too. Or I could use the blue print for the outer border and binding.
So the question is, Use the blue stripe for a narrow inner border, or no inner border and use the blue stripe for binding. I'm pretty set on the print for the wide border.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Yesterday I took my Downy Quilt to the flimsy stage.
Here's a close up of the fabrics together. The bright lime green really is the same color as the swirling stems and leaves.
Now I need a name for the quilt label. I'm thinking, 'Oh, Happy Day' or 'Swirls of Hugs' or ............ or...............
The print focus fabric has birdhouses, birds, flowers, fruits, butterflies, ladybugs, etc. It's a happy print, for sure.
Please leave any suggestions for a unique name for this quilt in comments. Thanks!
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
My first Downy Quilts for Kids kit just arrived. The fabric is beautiful -- so bright and cheery -- just what an ill child would love! The pattern is simple to make, yet very cute.
To make a quilt for this charitable group, they send you the fabric, pattern, and even the label. You provide the batting, the work, and the return postage. They even ask you to return the pattern so they can reuse it, as well as the baggie it all comes in. Very green and thrifty!
Of course they welcome you to send a quilt from your own fabric too, if you can.
So, I'm off to my "one-day-a-month (at least) patchwork for donation" resolution.
Monday, May 3, 2010
I don't generally go for 'cartoonish' but I do love this fabric line, Lettuce Entertain You, from Marcus. The healthy foods are just having such a good time. I especially love the carrot waving red cabbage leaves like feathers, LOL!
Above are close ups of several of my blocks for the novelty food swap. And below are the ten blocks I've made so far. There are nine of us in the swap so far, but it's still open, so I may need to whip up some more.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
This month we are making free-form reeds. The curves are cut randomly with your rotary cutter, giving the reeds a real, life-like look. No two are the same. Here are my nine Block Lotto blocks for May. They remind me of swimming underwater.
I do love the black/white/lime color scheme, which is so popular today. But I have a briefcase/computer bag from Vera Bradley in this same colorway, that I've had for years, maybe ten years. Was she ahead of her time?
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I just wanted to let you know that my Pay It Forward is full. However, I have two friends playing along who could use more takers. So be sure to visit their blogs and let them know if you'd like to play.
One is Carol, at:
And the other is Angela, at:
They both have great blogs, do really nice work, and would love to meet you.
Yesterday I finished sewing the top together, from my Block Lotto winnings. Now for the borders. Hmm....... First I was thinking purple, since the theme for this quilt is purple/green/blue with black and white thrown in. I used black in the sashing, and the cornerstones are a perky lime and blue print on white. Hence all but purple are used in setting the blocks. But now I'm thinking maybe use all three colors in progressively wider borders, and bind it in black. What do you think? Opinions are most welcome. Since shopping is involved here, it will be a few days at least until I finish it to flimsy stage.
This whole modern looking quilt is sooooo out of my traditional box! Block Lotto stretches you!